October 30, 2021

#BookReview: The Other Merlin (Emry Merlin, #1) by Robyn Schneider






Synopsis: Welcome to the great kingdom of Camelot. Prince Arthur’s a depressed botanist who would rather marry a library than a princess, Lancelot’s been demoted to castle guard after a terrible misunderstanding, and nothing is going according to plan. Then Arthur accidentally pulls the sword from the stone (in his defense, he was drunk and mostly kidding), and now everyone’s convinced he’s some prophesied hero.

Emry Merlin is stuck in her small town. Her father, the legendary court wizard, disappeared years ago, and Emry’s been peddling theater tricks to make ends meet. When a royal messenger arrives summoning her far less talented twin brother to serve as Prince Arthur's right-hand wizard, Emry is understandably upset. But after Emmett becomes indisposed thanks to a bad spell, Emry disguises herself as her brother and travels to the royal court to impersonate him until they can switch.

Studying magic at the castle is everything Emry hoped for. But life in King Uther’s court is full of scandals, lies, and backstabbing courtiers. What’s a teen wizard masquerading as her twin brother to do? Other than fall for the handsome prince, stir trouble with the foppish Lord Gawain, offend Princess Guinevere, and make herself indispensable to the future of Camelot?

When the truth comes out with disastrous consequences, Emry has to decide whether she'll risk everything for the boy she loves, or give up her potential to become the greatest wizard Camelot has ever known.

Channeling the modern humor of A Knight's Tale, bestselling author Robyn Schneider creates a Camelot that becomes the ultimate teen rom-com hotspot in this ultra-fresh take on the Arthurian legend.



Goodreads
Amazon

Rating: 2 Stars
My Review:  
This one sounded so good and the sample was amazing. I was so excited when it showed up and I dived in. I love retellings and gender swaps. However,  this one fell so flat for me.  The writing and story felt stilted and I was just really really bored with the whole thing.

If you like overly romantic rom-coms with magic then this one will totally be for you. I really wished I would have loved the characters enough for them to overshadow the plot and story. But sadly that just was not the case.  I felt that everything was just so slow and boring and I actually fell sleep during reading this one.  

I think that for me the romance overshadowed a lot of the story.  I think this would have been a lot better if it would have been there but not in the for front of the story at large.  The pacing was another issue. I just felt that it was very slow and needed to pick up the pace.  A lot of the story felt like filler and did not work for me either. 







Review

★ "Schneider’s first foray into fantasy, a clever trilogy starter based in the King Arthur mythos, changes most of the canonical facts but gets everything that matters right in this funny, sharp, romantic, magic-filled book."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Charming and sharply hilarious, Schneider’s entrance into historical fiction is such a natural fit, demonstrated by the strength of her storytelling and joyous voice throughout this fun, clever (and queer) tale."
—Buzzfeed

"This book was a delight to read. Schneider crafts a deft world, painted alongside delightful characters and the perfect dash of wit. Everything I look for in my favorite novels—including a smoldering romance!—can be found in The Other Merlin, which is a wonderfully fresh take on Arthur and his storied knights of lore."
—Renee Ahdieh, New York Times bestselling author of The Beautiful and The Wrath and the Dawn

"Simultaneously heart-pounding and hilarious, Robyn Schneider gives us a veritable romp through Camelot fueled by adventure and romance. A wonderfully smart, refreshing take for fans of Arthurian legend,  but also simply a great read for anyone wondering about their place in the world." 
—Kerri Maniscalco #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kingdom of the Wicked and Stalking Jack the Ripper

“Robyn Schneider brings everything I love about her contemporary books into fantasy with rich emotional arcs and friendships that are as compelling as the romance. These characters draw you in as the story keeps you guessing. I have no doubt this series will become a favorite for YA readers.”
—Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of Fable and Sky in the Deep

"An absolute joy from start to finish. It has the feel of a party you're just chuffed to have been invited to—sparkling characters, witty dialogue, and of course, great stories of derring-do. Schneider takes a familiar story and gives it the relevancy it deserves: with queerness, friendship, and, naturally, the woman wizard we've been waiting for."
—Maggie Tokuda-Hall, author of The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea 

"Witty banter, engaging characters, risqué references, plus zero devotion to the source material add up to a read perfect for fans of The Lady Janies series. One part Arthurian legend, one part teen dramedy, all parts enjoyable."
Kirkus Reviews

“Funny, thrilling, brave and bold, The Other Merlin is the perfect way to pass the time until the next Renaissance Faire. Schneider’s Arthurian tale stands out amid a crowd of old, dusty duplicates.”
The BookPage

“Schneider’s delightful reimagining of Arthurian legend sets Camelot as a hotbed for hormonal young nobles, who­—between dramatic turns of lust and love—partake in a lively blend of chivalry, questing, and courtly romance.”
Booklist

"The Other Merlin, a swoony and smart young adult fantasy novel that reimagines Camelot and its broad cast of characters in a new and clever way, with a young female Merlin at the center."
—The Mary Sue

About the Author

Robyn Schneider grew up in Southern California, where she spent her childhood reading fantasy novels and searching for secret passages. She’s a graduate of Columbia University, where she studied creative writing, and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where she earned a Masters of Bioethics. Robyn is the bestselling author of The Beginning of EverythingExtraordinary MeansInvisible Ghosts, and You Don’t Live Here. Her work is available across the world in over a dozen languages. She lives in Los Angeles with her TV producer husband, their tiny puppy, and far too many books.









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